Friday, December 13, 2013

Stephen Jones resigns as Bob Jones University president

Stephen Jones is resigning as president of Bob Jones University, according to our ever-worshipful Greenville News.



Jones, son of Bob Jones III and empty suit, supposedly suffers from bad health (and yet has no trouble sneaking up to North Carolina to see popular movies that BJU-students-and-affiliates are not permitted to watch locally). And so he must depart.

The rapidly-sinking popularity of Bob Jones University might have something to do with his exit, although of course this fact isn't mentioned in the story. That wouldn't be NICE, and the Greenville News is always always always extremely NICE when it comes to our local cult, to the point of refusing to investigate scandals. (see last link)

From the Greenville News:
Bob Jones University President Stephen Jones plans to resign, the school said Friday, citing health issues.

The university said in a statement Jones submitted his resignation at the regular meeting of the BJU Board of Trustees.

“The persistence of my health issues over the last three years is preventing me from providing the leadership the University needs at this time and prompted my personal decision to resign,” Jones, 43, said in a statement.

“The BJU mission is more important than I. Serving the BJU family for over eight years has been one of the great gifts of God to my wife and me, and I am looking forward to serving here in whatever new role God has for me.”

A university spokesman said Jones declined to be interviewed.

Larry Jackson, chairman of the university trustees, said the board accepted his resignation as president effective at the end of commencement, May 9, 2014.

“The Board fully understands the effects of Dr. Jones’ continuing health issues as they relate to the demands of the position,” Jackson said, “and we appreciate his leadership in giving priority to the mission of the University. The Board is grateful for his significant contributions to the ministry of BJU, his dedication to its mission and his love for the faculty, staff and students during his tenure as president.”

In a statement, school officials said trustees will immediately establish a search committee to identify candidates for president and “will prayerfully fill the position as soon as God leads us to a qualified person.”

“The Board of Trustees is completely committed to the historic position and mission of Bob Jones University and to maintaining the University’s firm stand on the absolute authority of Scripture,” Jackson said. “The board will seek a new president equally committed to our mission and biblical position.”
And as we know, Bob Jones IV, who was next in line before Stephen, was mysteriously passed over. Nobody will ever tell us why. (I figure its the same reason older brother Fredo was passed over, in favor of Michael Corleone: "Fredo has a good heart, but he's weak and he's stupid.")

Of course, we're all ready to hear the reason BJIV has been excluded from Apostolic Succession by his father, Bob Jones III (known as "triple-sticks" by some of the former-faithful). But take my word for it, we won't be getting any reasons, which means we can go ahead and fill in our own. I think one possible reason is that BJIV went to Notre Dame (that is to say, a REAL college, not a fake one, like BJU). After preaching against the Catholic Church for decades, Bob Jones III actually paid for his oldest son to attend Notre Dame! The money of the anti-Catholic faithful going straight to "the flagship Catholic University of North America" -- is that some nerve or what? Years ago, I discovered when the fundamentalist zealots periodically invaded the Catholic bookstore (where I used to work), all cranked up on Jonathan Edwards and ready to rumble, all I had to do was ask how they felt about their money going to Notre Dame so that Bob Jones IV could have a REAL education? Why didn't he just go to BJU? Notre Dame MUST be a better school, I protested, or Bob Jones wouldn't want his progeny attending, now would he?!?

I loved how the BJU-fundies would turn almost crimson whenever I brought up this forbidden topic. (Of course, they are not allowed to criticize The Founder or anyone related to him.) But I also noticed that they seemed to be holding back. There was obviously MORE to the story, and (unfortunately for us dedicated scandal-mongers) they didn't want to share it. In the above-linked story, they claim BJIV is working for WORLD magazine, although my spies tell me he has not been on the staff for many years.

So keep in mind, you're only getting a partial version of the truth, and uncomfortable facts are routinely dropped down the memory hole. Every story about BJU is only partial. We will only learn the whole truth after the place totally implodes. The obedient Greenville News takes its marching orders from BJU, even more than they do from the local Republican Party, and yes, there is a predictably heavy, heavy overlap.

The Greenville News has never, ever done any investigative journalism on the many abuses that have taken place at BJU over the years. ZIP. For example, in the above-linked account, we get this:
Last year, after several former and current BJU students and faculty protested the way the school had handled sex abuse allegations on campus, university officials said they contracted with GRACE, or Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, for “an open and objective analysis.”

A final report should be issued early next year, according to officials from Lynchburg, Va.-based GRACE and BJU.
Note that none of this was initially covered by our local newspaper of record. We finally get this defanged, tepid account A YEAR LATER. (more details here and here)

Chances are, we are only getting a small fraction of the story and the real reasons for 1) Stephen Jones being installed as president of BJU in the first place (as the article makes clear, he didn't want the job) and 2) his upcoming departure.

And I wonder who the first non-related president of Bob Jones University will be? Can anyone be as perfect as blood relatives of The Founder? This is obviously a crisis in the House of Jones.

Let's hope it is one more chapter in the slo-mo disintegration of the cult.

Comments welcome. Bob Jones University-apologists will be harshly dealt with, so no whining that you weren't warned.

13 comments:

Blue Heron said...

Stephen prospered in his time, well he may and he may decline.
Did it matter, does it now? Stephen would answer if he only knew how.

Daisy Deadhead said...

:)

JoJo said...

You have to wonder what dirty little secrets are being held regarding this resignation!!!

Anonymous said...

uhhh...without insulting you...you have so many facts incorrect that this is almost a pure fiction blog. Do you work for CNN?

Daisy Deadhead said...

Anon, what did I have incorrect? You are welcome to correct me, instead of being all mysterious, cutesy and coy, but of course, that is not the way of BJU. As a chickenshit cowardly ANONYMOUS, you are obviously afraid to do that.

In the real world, when one will not sign their name to their claims, it means it ain't worth much.

Are you one of the hundreds of people from BJU who has hit my blog in the past week? Was this a homework assignment? (How will you EVER get credit for sucking up without signing your name?)

Behave yourself, or I will start printing IPs and any other data I can dredge up from Statcounter to identify you. I can name which location/building/department on campus you are posting from, so be advised. Anonymity ain't what it used to be.

Of course I do not work for CNN, but you work for "BJU Administration" ... now, go tell your boss that you did as you were told, get patted on the head like an obedient doggie, and run along.

Puritan pests. All over the upstate.

(PS: I went into more detail on our radio show, so I hope you liked that better.)

Gorgeous Gregg said...

Ouch Daisy! Givin' 'em something to talk about.

I have my suspicions. For one thing, there are still Jones kinfolk available to lead the university, right? How many students do they need? BJU, if it is not a source of positive cash flow for the city, will not be seen as a benefit and they will sell it off in pieces.

Anonymous said...

Bobby IV decided that he did not want to ever be in the administration of the University and Bob III let everyone know it in the late 1980's/very early 1990's, so there was nothing ever hidden on that front. I distinctly recall getting a letter from the III.

Anonymous said...

I went to school with both IV and Stephen and we have been friends for many, many years.
Bobby was never interested in taking on the role of his father and his grandfather, and his great grandfather...he just wanted to live a normal life. He wasn't up to standards as far as the school was concerned. He just wanted to be himself.
Stephen took the role and ran with it. He's done an ok job, although I think his grandfather and great grandfather would not like how the "times have changed" at the school. They are much more liberal than they used to be.
Stephen is sick. There are no secrets they are hiding from the media. The stress of his position at the school causes flare ups in his illness. He really does need to step down and I think he's making a wise decision to do so.
You don't have any facts. It seems to me that you really have nothing to go on except speculation. If you're that interested, why not try getting to know these people. They are not unreachable.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Anonymous: I went to school with both IV and Stephen and we have been friends for many, many years.

My condolences.

Bobby was never interested in taking on the role of his father and his grandfather, and his great grandfather...he just wanted to live a normal life. He wasn't up to standards as far as the school was concerned. He just wanted to be himself.

Everybody wants to "be themselves"--that isn't news.

Some people at BJU were allowed to be more or less themselves (depending on who they were related to, or how much money their family donated to the school) some people were not. BJIV starred in videos put out by his father, endorsing some very harmful, evil, pernicious theology and repressive rules. He has not apologized or made amends for that. Until he does, there are lots of people with anger and resentment towards him, and his "feelings" don't really concern them. BJIV saved his own ass repeatedly at other's people's expense, and that is a pretty well-known fact.

No sympathy for the pampered son of the Founder (who was permitted to break rules others were not)... sorry.

Stephen took the role and ran with it.

Um, hello?

He hasn't done shit. What has he done, besides screw up the GRACE investigation?

He's done an ok job, although I think his grandfather and great grandfather would not like how the "times have changed" at the school.

If he did a "ok job"--this means he was a repressive, backward, oppressive authoritarian running a religious cult.

If he did a bad job running the cult, that would be A GOOD THING. You see? Because the cult should NOT be run well, because the goal (as every moral, ethical person knows) is to bring down the cult. Of course.

They are much more liberal than they used to be.

The kkk is much more liberal than it used to be too. Its still the kkk. (I hear there has always been an overlap in membership, starting with BJII, so I use the comparison deliberately.)

Stephen is sick.

Karma's a bitch.

There are no secrets they are hiding from the media.

Who are you and why should I believe you?

No secrets? You are even keeping your NAME AND IDENTITY a secret right here and now, all while bravely claiming there are no secrets at BJU! ROFLMAO

The entire place is run on secrets. Okay, let's start with just the most recent scandal: Why was the GRACE investigation suddenly halted, then started again?

???

Secrets are what the place is MADE OF.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Reply to anon continued:

Anonymous: The stress of [Stephen Jones]'s position at the school causes flare ups in his illness.

Then I guess he shouldn't have taken the position. Duh! This isn't exactly rocket science.

He really does need to step down and I think he's making a wise decision to do so.

The words "wise" and any mention of the Jones family, should never ever be in the same sentence.

You don't have any facts.

What have I said that is incorrect?

Look: NOT providing facts and keeping secrets, as BJU regularly does, means that people are invited to fill in the blanks. Nature abhors a vacuum. This is the much-vaunted "information age"--and if an institution--ANY institution--does not provide info, then expect myth, lies, speculation and gossip to fill in the blanks. That's what happens in a hyper-secretive, KGB-type, snitch atmosphere like BJU's, where (for instance) students are not permitted to face their accusers.

As this famous rabbi once said, the truth shall set you free. He didn't say "telling secrets shall set you free"... the repercussions you describe are the fault of the institution that routinely refuses to address their actions, such as putting a known rape apologist on their board.

You don't have any facts.

Of course I have facts: Stephen Jones has resigned in the midst of several active scandals. He's a mess. BJU is a mess. Those are the facts. You have not corrected these facts, merely offered your opinion and interpreted the facts differently.

You know that, right?

It seems to me that you really have nothing to go on except speculation. If you're that interested, why not try getting to know these people. They are not unreachable.

HEY NOW, no reason to get insulting! Of course I am not interested in talking to cultists. I am not interested in talking to anyone from the Church of Scient0logy either. Why would you wish such an awful thing on me?

I am interested in chronicling the harm of the cults, but there is *never* any reason to talk directly to mind-controlled android-cultists and its usually a bad idea. In fact, since they have the documented ability to mess with people's minds, its a good idea to steer clear of them at all costs.

Of course they are "unreachable" as long as the cult has its hooks into them. I mean, there are still people who think the place should be allowed to operate! Can you believe?!

After the place implodes or is sold off for debt or whatever? I'll be glad to talk to the survivors.

I already talk to BJU-survivors now, on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Daisy, you seem to be a very bitter person. I'm sorry you have to live in such pain.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Anon, you seem to be a very cowardly, frightened person, since you are even afraid to sign your name to a rather tepid, garden-variety insult.

Why?

I am sorry the Christian faith you claim to have, hasn't given you any courage.

Why hasn't it?

Not exactly "bitter"--more like: FURIOUS that such Christian terrorism exists, that grown adults are left so completely damaged by it that they can't even sign their names to their comments.

Isn't such psychological/emotional damage a horrifying and pitiful spectacle?

You are an excellent example of what BJU does to people and exactly WHY the place needs to go.

Keep up the good work.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Camille's great paper for the Kenneth Burke Society conference:

He Said, They Said: Dueling Bob Jones University in the Public Sphere

Explains the psychology of the place, and how it is infected with antiquated Southern White Male Honor ideas, borne of the culture of the Duel. Fascinating analysis! So very proud to call Camille Lewis my friend.